Clinton Says Bush Should Boycott Olympics Opening Ceremony

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y) on Monday called on President Bush to boycott the opening ceremony of this yearThe violent clashes in Tibet and the failure of the Chinese government to use its full leverage with Sudan to stop the genocide in Darfur are opportunities for Presidential leadership. These events underscore why I believe the Bush administration has been wrong to downplay human rights in its policy towards China. At this time, and in light of recent events, I believe President Bush should not plan on attending the opening ceremonies in Beijing, absent major changes by the Chinese government.

I encourage the Chinese to take advantage of this moment as an opportunity to live up to universal human aspirations of respect for human rights and unity, ideals that the Olympic games have come to represent.

Americans will stand strong in support of freedom of religious and political expression and human rights. Americans will also stand strong and root for the success of American athletes who have worked hard and earned the right to compete in the Olympic Games of 2008.

On the one hand, I think that what's happened in Tibet, China's support of the Sudanese government in Darfur, is a real problem. I'm hesitant to make the Olympics a site of political protest, because I think it's partly about bringing the world together.